THE SECRET LESSON OF TWO WIDOWS
In the Scriptures, there are two separate accounts of widows each with a powerful lesson in giving. A widow represents that which is desolate or forsaken. In each instance their selfless acts stand out as an emblem of their faith in God. Each act represents an aspect of Redemption and carries the full weight of Redemption’s eternal power. Lastly, the result of their giving is supernatural and brings the power of God into, up and over all that is natural.
The first account is found in First Kings Chapter 17, verses 8-16: 8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
Elijah is a prophet of God and is a spiritual type of the Word of God in action. According to Strong’s Concordance, the root meaning of the name Zarephath is a refinery which connotes testing, purification, or purging. This process takes us back to the state of the widow. A state of emptiness and desolation but in a most positive sense. All that is removed by God is that of self and is not necessary in the life of the believer who desires to follow on to know Him. The widow was gathering sticks, two of them. Their significance is muted until seen through redemption. A stick is available because of a tree. In fact, the word sticks is translated tree. In the New Testament, Peter and the apostles preached to the council and said in part, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree_Acts 5:30."